puritan tiger beetle cicindela puritana n.
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PURITAN TIGER BEETLE Cicindela puritana. By: K. Gargurevich & K. McNulty. TAXONOMY. Kingdom: Animalia Phylum:Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Coleptera Family: Cicindelidae Genus: Cicindela Species: puritana. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION. It is a cold-blooded animal and an invertebrate.

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puritan tiger beetle cicindela puritana


By: K. Gargurevich & K. McNulty



Kingdom: Animalia


Class: Insecta

Order: Coleptera

Family: Cicindelidae

Genus: Cicindela

Species: puritana

physical description
  • It is a cold-blooded animal and an invertebrate.
  • Size ranges from 12mm. to 14mm.
  • They have a brown thorax and head with areas of dark greens, browns and bronzes.
  • They have patterned elytra that are leathery covers that protect the wings.
  • The patterns on those covers are symmetrical with the line running parallel to the pincers.
physical description continued
Physical Description Continued…
  • It has long slender legs that help it move quickly to capture their prey.
  • The elytra help by protecting their delicate wings which are underneath the covers.
  • Their large eyes help them spot their prey, then they use their legs to run after their prey.
  • Their name refers to their ferocity as hunters because they use large eyes to spot their prey and then they sprint to catch them.
diet and feeding habits diet
Diet and Feeding Habits Diet
  • Small insects, flies and ants mainly.
  • Predators: Dragonflies and robber flies. May eat adults. Invading wasps and bees, they eat the larva alive.
  • The puritan tiger beetle is carnivorous and at least a third level consumer, eating ants and flies.
  • Hunting technique: They spot their prey and sprint towards it. They lose sight of it in the process and may have to spot it again. They may have to do this several times before they catch it.
  • The Puritan Tiger beetle lives all along the watershed.
  • Specifically it lives in Northampton MA, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
  • This beetle requires sandy beaches along both fresh and brackish water such as rivers, streams and estuaries.
  • It also lives on clay beaches. These beaches were formed from glacial lakes.
  • The beetle needs these beaches because they are the home for its prey.
environmental biotic factors
Environmental Biotic Factors
  • Flies, ants, and beach shrubbery.
  • Flies and ants are its main prey and beach shrubbery provides protection from beach predators.
  • Humans on the beach disrupt the beetle’s ability to mate.
environmental abiotic factors
Environmental Abiotic Factors
  • Sand and fresh or brackish water are the basic abiotic factors.
  • The pollutants that pass through the water and debris forming natural dams or obstacles can affect this beetle.
  • Also man-made dams affect their place of habitat and may constrict waterways and flood their precious beaches.
  • The man- made dams alter the flow of the water and may flood of the waterways.
life cycle
Life Cycle
  • The Puritan tiger beetle’s life cycle is only 2 years long.  
  • They spend about 96% of these 2 years as a larva.
  • They are larva for 22 months leaving them little time to mate.
  • The beetles go from eggs to larva and then molt several times to pupa, finally becoming adults.
life cycle continued
Life Cycle Continued…
  • Flies and wasps threaten the larva by laying parasitic eggs in larval burrows.
  • If the fly and wasp eggs survive, the wasp larva attach themselves to the beetle larva and eat them alive.
  • They live as adults for only two months during which time they must mate and reproduce.
  • After mating, the females place their eggs one by one just underneath the top layer of sand.

Listed: 8/7/1990

Status since listing: Declined

  • Babione, Michelle “Bringing Tiger beetles Together” Endangered Species Bulletin Jan-Feb 2003 p28
  • “Beetle” The World Book Encyclopedia vol. 4 Chicago World Book inc. 2003 p214-217
  • “Federally Endangered or Threatened Species” march 5 2007 U.S. fish and wildlife 3.6.07. http://www.fws.gov/r5soc/EndThrSp.htm
  • Jenner, Jan. Science Explorer; Animals. Needham Massachusetts: Prentice Hall Inc, 2002
  • “Puritan Tiger Beetle” Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection last update unknown 3.13.07 http://ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2723&q=326064&depNav_GID=1655
  • “Tiger Beetles of the United States” 8.16.06 U.S. Department of the Interior/U.S. Geological Survey 3.1.07 http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/insects/tigb/usa/71.htm
  • White, Richard. Beetles Of North America / Text And Illustrations Norwalk: Houghton Mifflin Company 1963
  • Wirthy, Chris “Species Cicindelapuritana-Puritan Tiger Beetle” 1.6.06 Iowa State University Entomology 3.1.07 http://www.bugguide.net/node/veiw/40408